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Paramedic’s Corner: April was a busy month for medical calls and training
Paramedic’s Corner: April was a busy month for medical calls and training

Gary Carmack
The month of April was busy as Pulaski County Ambulance District (PCAD) personnel responded to 386 patients, bringing the yearly total of responses to date at 1,795 patients. The highest call area remains Waynesville-St. Robert with 261 calls in April, followed by Richland at 44 and Crocker 33. PCAD personnel responded to Rolla 12 times and to Laquey and Fort Leonard Wood 11 times each. Most of the Rolla and Fort Leonard Wood responses were for transfers.

The hospitals most requested and transported to were Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla at 74, St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon at 69, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at 57, and Lake Regional Medical Center at Osage Beach at 23. The highest destination long-distance transport was University Hospital in Columbia at four.

The highest responses by age group were 70 years or older at 71 responses followed by 21 to 30 years old at 68 responses. The highest medical reason for calling was cardiac-respiratory and the highest reason for trauma calls was motor vehicle crashes and falls. The highest time of day for calls is between 2 and 7 p.m. Then, it peaks again at 9 to 10 p.m. We also have a 1 to 2 a.m. peak. Of course we know the reason for that one — the bar crowd.

I recently attended a large medical conference. There was a lot of discussion about induced hypothermia (cooling therapy) and mechanical chest compressions making a huge difference in cardiac arrest survival. PCAD already has state-of-the-art mechanical chest compression called the AutoPulse Non-invasive Cardiac Support Pump in each of our ambulances. These cardiac systems replace CPR. The machine performs the CPR in a fast and continuous method recommended by the American Heart Association. PCAD will be monitoring the hypothermia trends, but ambulances cannot initiate this therapy without strong hospital support and resources, as the cooled patient must remain cooled in the hospital — it is a total system. I will do a future article on induced hypothermia or cooling-therapy.

A topic discussed was firefighter rehabilitation (rehab). Firefighters frequently suffer strokes and heart attacks during or after fire scenes. More 12-lead EKGs should be considered and performed on firefighters. The firefighters should receive rehab after using two bottles of air. Rehab includes providing fluids, checking vital signs, and providing rest and food on long fire scenes. The aforementioned EKGs should be considered for long and exhausting fire scenes.

Cardiac care was a large topic, of course, since it is the number one cause of death in America. It is desired to get cardiac patients, if they have actual 12-lead EKG changes that indicate a heart attack, into the hospital cath lab in less than 90 minutes. PCAD has been doing 12-leads EKGs for several years now.

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